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The 3% Conference

The 3% Conference is a two day conference founded in San Francisco to support more female creative leadership in the advertising world. Rapidly growing since its launch date in 2012, the conference has boomed into an anticipated event in the industry, especially among female marketers. It now also hosts various conferences throughout USA and Europe and the initiative lives within multiple social platforms, an annual student scholarship fund, awards, and blog.

I had the pleasure of attending this event not only as a woman in the industry, but also as one of the top ten student scholarship winning teams with my fellow BIC classmate, Nehal Mahmoud. The 2014 Student Scholarship Fund encouraged students to participate in a creative challenge, granting the top 10 winners to win:
  • a pair of tickets to The 3% Conference in San Francisco
  • a $250 travel stipend per participant
  • a private lunch on Day 1 of the Conference where leaders from scholarship sponsor, Adobe, provided student portfolio reviews

And we won! Hours before the deadline and countless rough drafts and doodles later, Nehal and I submitted our entry for this year’s competition. The creative challenge? In teams of two (Art Director and Copywriter), create a poster celebrating the fact that the ratio of female-to-male Creative Directors has increased 300%. The poster is to announce this news to the industry, to motivate folks to attend the conference and to keep the movement going. 

2014 Student Scholarship Submission

Lunch with Adobe

Learning how to #takethemic

And as for the conference…we entered as attendees and left as empowered female leaders who were going to make a difference in the world. We had the honor of listening to a variety of movers and shakers leaving their mark on the world; workshops covered leadership styles, Super Bowl advertising do’s and don’ts, repicturing women in media, our brains on mobile, and how to “die empty” (not taking your best ideas with you to the grave).

Top key takeaways from The 3% Conference in 2014:
  • “Some of the biggest mistakes I have made in my company have been from not listening to my gut…women have incredible intuition.”
  • “If you can’t find people to support you, it’s time to move.”
  • On Super Bowl:
    • “Ads are coming from a metaphoric clubhouse with a ‘boys only’ sign on the outside.”
    • “We need to keep being a part of the conversation. It’s helping.”
    • “Never forget you have the power of 85% of consumers standing behind you."
  • On the power of the media:
    •  “There is a far more potent marketing tool: insecurity.”
    • “Three main components in Marketing: Censorship, Manipulation, and Saturation.”
    • “Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford.” – Cindy Crawford
    • “Do we have to be laughing alone, eating salad?” (on women in stock photography)
  • Your brain on mobile:
    • “We (app developers) are battling for your focus.”
    •  “Mobile ‘beachfront property’ are the bottom four apps on your main screen.”
    • “(At the end of the day) Phones were meant to enhance our lives, not consumer them.” 
But the most important key takeaway?


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